About 9,000 acres of the McKenzie Watershed are in residential use. Residents,
particularly those who live adjacent to the river or a tributary, have an important role
to play in the stewardship of the McKenzie Watershed and maintaining excellent water quality.
Development can potentially threaten water quality due to:
- Use of pesticides and fertilizers
- Contamination from septic systems
- Increased erosion and sediment from construction activities
- Removal of native streamside vegetation
Flood events can damage or wash away structures in the floodplain, potentially releasing household
chemicals, hazardous materials or untreated sewage into nearby water bodies. This not only threatens
the water supply and poses health and safety risks, but can also be very costly for individuals and
See historical development patterns in the McKenzie River Basin from 1870-2007
EWEB recognizes that there are a number of ways in which to mitigate for these threats to water quality, and
to public health and safety.
We have several initiatives designed to help residents protect water quality.
EWEB conducted land use code studies to better understand the potential
impacts of development in the watershed. See a summary of the developments studies and access
EWEB received grant funding to help educate residents about the potential threats from septic systems, and to
conduct water quality monitoring and offer free septic system inspections. Current programs include a zero-interest
loan program and cost-share program for septic system maintenance.
Read about classes designed to help residents learn more about what they can do on their own property to take care
of the river.
Learn about a new program EWEB is developing that will reward rural landowners
who maintain high quality land along the river, helping to protect water quality in the
McKenzie Watershed and avoid increased water treatment costs for drinking water customers.
EWEB works closely with the McKenzie River Trust to help protect habitat in the McKenzie Watershed
through land acquisitions and conservation easements.
Email us for more information, or call Nancy Toth at 541-685-7438 or
Karl Morgenstern at 541-685-7365.